Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tractor Birthday Party

Pierce had his 2nd birthday party
and he LOVES tractors so that was
the theme!
 However he was not thrilled with the party itself
and being the center of attention...
he just wanted to play with his tractor!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

2 Year Old Photo Shoot

Pierce is going to be 2
next week and I got to be
 photographer for his pictures.
 2 year olds move very fast
 from one activity to the next 
and I was kept hopping!

He is such a happy boy and so excited about
everything that it was a lot of fun to do.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fairy Tent in the Garden

A Fairy tent appeared in my garden
this week specifically built
for a special little fairy
that Grandma loves very much!

I used 2 ladders,
fabric, sheets and various props
from my garage.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Boating at Cresap Bay

Finally at the end of summer
we got out in Shad's boat
for a day at the lake.
It was gorgeous and so fun
to explore way back to the falls
where the cliffs tower over
and it feels so mysterious and quiet! 

Even Beckham enjoyed being outside!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ode to an Empty House

"Ode to An Empty House"
in memory of my childhood home
and my parents who went to Glory this year

The house lies silent in the sun,
the sound of wind sighing in the 
trees no more.
I turn my key in the lock
and step inside the door.
Gleaming floors reflect filtered light
  no foot heard on the stairway treads,
  the stillness of an empty home.
The rail that felt a thousand childrens' hands
polished to a golden brown.
No Mama in the kitchen,
 no Daddy in his chair
the cupboard doors hide nothing now
there's empty shelves and bare.
Each step across this floor, 
hundreds of times each day
  the footsteps got slower over time
 but the love it yet remained.
Only silence in an empty house,
they've crossed the threshold o'er
and from here I cannot see them
standing on the other shore.
 The silence echoes a sad refrain 
 and empty rooms are all I have to see,
  the tears trace hot and salty pathways
and memories linger free.
Goodbye house,
 home of love and grace,
the walls would echo if they could
that God dwelt in this place.

(My childhood home, ready to sell
Beautiful memories available for free!
Anyone who buys this house will be blessed
I know! There's been so much love and goodness
and godliness here that the very walls breath it out.)

by Karen Helmes

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Aurora Colony, Oregon

Another fun visit I made during my glamping
adventure took me to the small
town of Aurora.
This town was settled by a band of pioneers
who came west to live in a communal way
and to branch out from the celibacy their
original colony had required.
 Aurora Museum Complex

 Views around town
The Emma Walk
This follows a real individual who's life story has
been made into a series by Jane Kirkpatrick.
(Change and Cherish Historical series #4)
If you have read the trilogy you would love this
walk! I have not but plan to soon.
What a great way to spend a summer morning!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Mystery of the Apple Tree

As I walked the paths around Champoeg I happened 
upon an apple tree growing near the 
river and instantly my mind went to my parents
(for they are never far from my thoughts
and heart these days...)
and a day in my life I remember very vividly.

When I was a young girl,
perhaps around 8 or 10, my Dad was
clearing out some of the woods around our 
house. He put his head in the door,
munching on a little apple (his favorite snack),
and said casually that he had found a 
wild apple tree. 
My Mom tossed her apron on the table, 
called us kid's from wherever we were
spending a lazy summer day reading, 
with that particular excitement in her
voice that meant some wonderful discovery.
We followed her out to where my Dad 
had been working and found this little
 apple tree which we had never noticed
there before. It looked quite old
and very bedraggled but it had a few
little wormy apples dangling here and there.
My Mom's voice took on her story telling
pitch and she said
"Kids, what if this tree was planted by Johnny Appleseed?
Do you think he came this far west?!"
We all began to chatter telling what we had learned 
about Johnny Appleseed in school
and speculating on whether this might be 
one of his trees. Then Mom suggested
that we look for a special mark
somewhere on the tree that would indicate
he had indeed planted it.
To our great disappointment we found
nothing and began to lose interest in the search
 when Dad passed by and gave that wry smile
he often gave to Mom when she
was being fanciful and said
"It's just a wild apple tree, Martha,
from a bird dropping a seed."
Mom gave him that look that said
"why do you always have to be so practical?"
and we trooped back to the house.

The great thing about parents like we had
is that they both truly loved history,
Dad the history of Christianity
and Mom, history of all kinds, especially
American and Finnish. 
History was exciting! It was worth crying over
and retelling many times, it was more than 
words on a page, it was the best part of 
learning, and that is why when I walk
along a river and see an apple tree
I think of who planted it and when
and of my parents and how 
instilling in a child excitement over an
apple tree carries with it the excitement
every child should have
about the great country we live in.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Vineyards and Views

From my Champoeg campsite 
I did some exploring during the worst
heat of the day...
The Willamette Valley is stunning
with its verdant farm land,
hills of vineyards, old barns
and winding river.

 Olive oil tasting from press and olives
grown on the property, YUM!
Fresh local produce and friendly farmers
made every drive and stop a great experience.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

1860's Garden and Oldest Store in Oregon

Part of the visitors center at
Champoeg is a replica of 
a garden that would have been 
built there in the 1860's.
Many of the plants and flowers are
familiar but were used in different ways.
There was also an orchard with varieties 
of that era.

This store is the oldest in Oregon and still
is open for business...
I had so much beauty all around me at every
bend in the road that there will be a few posts
on this trip:)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Glamping At Champoeg

I found the perfect campground for a history
buff like myself and glamped there 
for a few nights.
Champoeg State Park in Oregon
is the site of:
First-Native Americans who 
canoed the Willamette River,
carefully preserved the environment,
farmed and fished, hurting no one...
Second- came the French-Canadians
who also used the waterway as a way to transport furs,
married into the local tribes and settled there
in what is called "French Prairie".
 Last- came the British traders and American Pioneers
with their wagons and home building and town planning.

When they were all flooded out of the town in the 1860's
the area became what it is today, a national monument
to an American story.

The townsite with street markers still lies quiet and still
beneath the Prairie sod and brilliant sky.
I walked along the many paths and trails and felt the 
real essence of those who traveled there in times past.
It's that prickly feeling on the back of your neck
as you imagine the quiet moccasins padding past,
the low voices speaking french, the jingle of harness
and swish of canoe paddle as the river flows 
silently by the foot paths.

Raggedy Garden, I found some history too!
You inspired me to go looking in my own neck
of the woods:)